Linda Wegman Giving Tree

The Giving Tree has been a part of IC Parish for years. The first year, 15 families were adopted.

One of the most important aspects of this endeavor has been the number of our parishioners who are involved in this project.

Preparation begins in September. At this time the project is presented to the Pastor for review and approval. The Samaritan Center is contacted and they carefully certify and select the 80 families for adoption.

The Notre Dame Immaculata Chapter has overseen this project for the past 13 years. We are aided by many people in the parish.

In November, our chapter, along with other volunteers, write each individual ornament for the tree. Each child has 2 ornaments; 1 for clothing and 1 for a toy. Each adult is given 1 item, which may be clothing or an item for the home. Several hundred ornaments are written.

A few volunteers provide the tree and set it up in church. A second group puts ornament hooks on each gift request and hangs it on the tree. The tree goes up the first week-end in Advent.

All parishioners become involved at this point. They may take ornaments or donate money for the food baskets given to each family. Helias Catholic High School takes 40 ornaments. The students shop for the gifts and wrap them.

The gifts are returned and placed under the tree. Several parishioners take the gifts to the sacristy after each Mass. The school children then take the gifts to the designated area for sorting.

In December, some students make beautiful Christmas Cards and others bake cookies. These items are placed in the food baskets.

Approximately 3 days before the gifts and baskets are distributed, adult volunteers, students, and students earning community service, divide the gifts and place them in the appropriate family section. At this time, we ensure all of the gifts are present and if not, last minute shopping is done!

On the day prior to distribution, the upper grade school children divide all of the food items and place in each family’s box.

The following day, several volunteers (adults and children) help the families take the items to their cars. It is a very inspiring day.

Last year, the Sisters from El Puente helped us with our Spanish speaking families.

Msgr. Cox always leads us in prayer before we open the doors. This helps all of us to prepare for the morning.

The numbers involved are too numerous to count, but this is certainly a parish-wide endeavor. We are always amazed at the kindness, support, and generosity of our Immaculate Conception families.

In 2010, the Giving Tree was named for Linda Wegman who worked many years on the Giving Tree, both as a teacher and later, as part of our Notre Dame Chapter.